Thursday, August 26, 2010


Great new releases from ATTMPress!

The Singularity Pogrom

Authored by Dan Ronco

In the tradition of 1984 and 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, 2031: THE SINGULARITY POGROM explores humanity's next great evolutionary challenge. Set in a violent near-future where human and artificial intelligence threaten to merge, 2031 is a clash of wills between software genius Ray Brown, his gifted but troubled son David, and megalomaniac Dianne Morgan, Ray's one-time lover.
David Brown's unique ability to mentally communicate with Sentinel, the artificial intelligence running the Internet, marks him as a prime candidate for Dianne's experiment to integrate human and artificial intelligence. Then the tipping point arrives; in a gruesome delivery, David's beloved wife dies birthing a son who seems barely human. The antagonism between father and son grows into hatred as the boy matures. By age six, Martin Brown's powers already exceed David's, and he plots to kill his father in order to claim Sentinel as his own.
Human evolution hangs in the balance as David, Ray, Dianne, and Martin clash in an epic conflict that comes to a startling and unexpected conclusion in 2031.




This is a revolutionary book that serves as an exciting roadmap for people everywhere, offering advice on how to gain more control over their lives at both the
individual level and also in their local communities. Encompassing diverse areas such as health, education, careers, economics, and spirituality, it points a clear path for individuals to gain self-empowerment, leading to more security and happiness in their lives, which will, in its own turn, lead to stronger local communities.When we decide to live our lives with truth, integrity, passion, and optimism, we are then building Cities of Gold, our version of heaven on Earth, a place we all know can exist.




"What goes around, comes around." Truer words were never spoken, as evidenced by the complex interactions and fates of the characters in "The Turn of The Karmic Wheel."
When the residents of Raleigh begin to hear music and voices that aren't "there", and to receive frightening messages from no discernable source, it soon becomes
apparent that changes must - and will - be made: to their everyday lives, to their relationships, to their bodies, and, most importantly, to their souls.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


How long have you been writing?

Since 1975. I wrote three novels before I attempted a short story, Rude Awakening, which was based on the strained relationship of my immigrant parents. It was published in 1988 by Unknowns Magazine out of Atlanta. Thereafter, getting stories into print was sporadic until 1999, when I finally heeded the advice of friends and went online. I was amazed how easy submission was. I sometimes heard from an editor the same day, as opposed to a year or more using snail mail. It also saved me the expense and annoyance of dealing with the post office. It may have been the best thing I’ve ever done - ever.

What projects are you working on at the present?

I’ve completed a short story of 1000+ words, Oblivious. I will read through the file a couple of more times to make sure it’s as good as can be. It’s about the dangers we all face that we are completely unaware of, most of which never occur. It was probably influenced by the TV show Criminal Minds, which is extremely unpleasant but is to be commended for its uncompromising nature and reluctance to put things into a tidy politically correct context - except for its occasional playing of mopey songs at the end.
I’ve also submitted a novel, Killing, to All Things That Matter Press. It encompasses many aspects of the theme. Of the nine novels I’ve written, of which two have been published, I believe it is the most meaningful. I don’t know if anyone has ever examined the theme to such an extent.

What are some day jobs that you have held? If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.
I’ve been a teacher’s aide, a bartender, a messenger and, for nearly 25 years, a data entry person and supervisor at the Commodity Exchange in Manhattan. I worked in the madness of the pit and at the podium trying to manage the three circus that the open outcry system, which has largely given way to electronic trading, had been. It was a wonderful place for a writer, as the gamut of behavior could be observed. I even wrote a raucous novel about a year in the life of a supervisor, Exchanges. Trouble is, it is so vulgar and politically incorrect I don’t know that any publisher would touch it.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?
During Christmas break my freshman year in college I spotted Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment on a rack at a newsstand. My two best campus friends, who were really intelligent despite the fact that they were football players, had mentioned him a few times. I was prepared for the humiliation of not being able to understand the book. To my surprise, I not only understood it but was amazed and frightened at how I identified with the main character. Prior to this, it was almost strictly Batman and Superman comics.
I also admired Henry Miller’s fearlessness, although in the end he may simply have been the world’s greatest pornographer. The novels I respect most are those that get life right, like Saul Bellow’s The Adventures of Augie March or Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, perhaps the most beautifully written of all.

Who's your best/worst critic?

I beat myself up pretty well about all aspects of my life, even something so silly as a once a week round of golf.

What's the last thing you think of before you fall asleep at night? First thing in the morning?
I often use a budding short story as a means of counting sheep. In the morning it’s about seizing the day, hoping for at least one book sale on the street.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
90% of my work is mainstream or literary. I’m fascinated by the bittersweet mystery of life, by what makes people tick, by peeling away as many of the layers of personality as possible. The other ten percent is borne of the love I had for The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock as a youth. I’ve never found it difficult to differentiate between the two.

Vic's Website:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel:
Vic's 1st Novel:
Vic's Blog:
A Hitch in Twilight on Kindle:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Musings from Key West

Musings from Key West
By Michelle Kaye Malsbury

A couple of weeks ago one of my best girlfriends and her family came from Austria to visit me in Florida. We’ve been friends since my early college days back in Illinois where we both spent a couple of summers working for the Girl Scouts of America. Tina as a counselor, and I was waterfront director. (I was in charge or the canoe trips, which sometimes we as long as four or more days, and the swimming instructions/lifeguards at the pool)

Tina and I spent the next few years traveling back and forth between America, wherever I was living at that time, and Austria, where she worked for half of the year. We saw a lot of things in the USA and Europe too. We did not have a lot of money so we did what we could as inexpensively as possible. Eventually I ended up with my boyfriend, at the time-he later became my husband, in Key West, Florida, and Tina got married and had a son.

Prior to the child, Steve, who is now ten years old, Tina and her husband used to visit me (and Pat) each year in Key West. We always had fun going to the reef on Fury or Sebago for an afternoon of snorkeling or a sunset sail. We always made time to go to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville for a Margarita, and occasionally lunch. The Schooner Wharf Bar, Turtle Kraals, and The Half Shell along the waterfront were favorite happy hour stops of ours. If we wanted something slightly more upscale we went to Louie’s Backyard or Bagatelle. Back then Tina and Franz, her husband, were getting into the game of golf and they always spent an afternoon or two on the Key West Golf Club course. I suck at golf and most sports so I always skipped that outing. As Key West grew and new businesses emerged I tried to show them the progress each year by visiting the new restaurants or watering holes and introducing them to the owners and my friends. They loved it and have very fond memories of those years!

In 2005 we sold, my husband (soon to be my ex) our third or so house and bought a motor yacht that we kept berthed in Miami, Florida. For the first time in a long time we had no foothold in Key West. We took the boat to the Abaco’s, in the Bahamas, to the Keys, and the west cost of Florida, where she is berthed now.

Tina and Franz had not been back to America since 2000. A lot of changes had occurred since then and they really wanted to show Steve, their son, the boat. We all stayed on the boat for a few days and Tina and I began discussing things to do and places to go. We decided a short foray to Key West, for old time sake, would be a lot of fun so I began planning the trip.

We left on Sunday mid-morning and drove down I-75 until we got on the Florida Turnpike south heading to Florida City and Key West. We stopped a couple of times along the way to stretch and use the facilities or fuel up. Her husband Franz drove so she and I talked and caught up with the past ten years that we had not seen each other and Steve played with his Gameboy.

I had arranged for us to stay in my last house on United Street because it was a two bedroom, one bath, with a small pool and it was very hot and humid, therefore the pool would be used a lot by all of us. In the years since I had owned it it had had some small renovations that really made it pop. We settled in, got a cold drink, and the headed for Duval Street.

For those of you who do not know, Duval Street is the only street in the US that runs from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. The entire Island of Key West is only five miles by about two and a half at its widest point. Naturally, they (Tina, Franz, and Steve) had to stop at all of the tourist trap shops filled with kitschery and cheap t-shirts by the rack full. A couple of times we stopped for liquid refreshment at the local pubs like Margarittaville and Sloppy Joe’s and the Conch Republic Bar. I called some old friends and met them at some of these stops so we could also catch up. We took pictures and reminisced about old times and all the fun we had when I used to live there too. They asked me to please come back there to live. I said I would think about it, but am not sure I would like to go back there to live. It was fun for the seventeen years that I lived and played there and I still have a lot of friends there, but I sort of feel like going back there would be like going backwards and I want to experience new things now and move forward.

We stayed in Key West for four days during which time we did a wonderful sunset sail complete with band and food on the Fury compliments of one of my dear friends that I used to work with over the time that I lived there. I arranged for Tina and Franz and Steve to ride some jetski’s off the Reach Resort’s beach. I did a short, fifteen minute, radio segment on KONK 1500am, promoting my new book The Swindler. All of my old pals listened in and called me afterward telling me how great it went. I loved it! (yes, I guess that really was my fifteen minutes of fame) We went to some of my favorite restaurants for food and grog and even a new one or two including the Hogfish Bar and Grill on Stock Island where the owner, who is another old friend, greeted us like we were rock stars. I went off one night to a wine tasting, with another dear friend, Buzzy, at the Ocean Key House special upstairs restaurant, Hot Tin Roof, where the food parings were amazing and unique, and the wines, all from New Zealand, were delicious. Each morning Franz and I rose before the rest and went out for hot CafĂ© Con Leche, a special Cuban coffee, and toast that we brought back to my old house for all to savor.

We had a wonderful time, but the time was really too short to enjoy everything that Key West has to offer. I guess that leaves a little something for next time. (wink) Best of all, the trip made new family vacation memories for Tina, Franz, and Steve, and provided me with a short window of time to reconnect with old friends and perhaps even sell a few books.

Monday, August 16, 2010



How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

My friend Roger Hileman (and later co-author on Hammon Falls) wrote a screenplay called Rainbow several years ago. I thought the story was interesting, but then went on to my own projects. A few years later when I read Louise Erdrich’s The Master Butchers Singing Club, I was reminded of Roger’s screenplay and realized what a cool novel it would make. So I contacted him and asked if I could write a novelized version of it. He responded with an enthusiastic yes, but asked if we could collaborate. So we did.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

I’m a professional member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America), and that’s the field in which I’ve published the majority of my short stories. However, I find myself moving away from speculative fiction and rarely write it anymore. My first love is literary and historical fiction, although mysteries are a guilty pleasure (which I don’t actually feel guilty about ).

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc.come from?

Being born. Seriously, I’ve always loved books—so much so that not only have I worked in a university library for the past 32 years, but I collect antiquarian books in my spare time. (I’m trying to get at least one book from every year since the beginning of printing. At one point I had every year since 1577, and a number of nonconsecutive years older than that, including my pride and joy, a Latin book on oratory printed in 1474. Hard times forced me to sell the best part of my collection, but I still have every year since 1690, plus a few older.)

How long have you been writing?

The dinosaurs have died out since I started writing.

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

I’m primarily a short story writer, although I have greatly enjoyed writing our novel Hammon Falls. I also write music, but other than the occasional wedding song for friends, most of my compositions have been for my own amusement.

What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.?

It’s how we learn to know ourselves, “ourselves” being the entire community of humanity.

How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?

I’m a spiritual person only in an intellectual sense. I’m fascinated by the study of all religions, philosophies, psychologies, and spiritual pursuits, but as for personal beliefs, I just haven’t found anything that seems even remotely plausible. But sometimes the search itself provides the meaning.

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

Well, just first to finish the damn thing. I have a bad habit of starting novels but then losing interest. So simply putting that final period to Hammon Falls was a victory in itself. Finding a great publisher for it was a nice bonus. The most important goal, though, was to pay homage to Roger’s ancestors, whose lives inspired the characters and storylines in our novel.

Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

Roger was the primary research guy on this. However, I used the names of my friends and student employees at the library for some of the minor characters. That was great fun for me and for them (and hey, they got a free, signed copy of the book out of the deal).

What are some of the references that you used while researching this book?

See previous answer—although working in a university library as I do, I did make many forays into our Archives for information about local history.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Free-form preciseness, I hope, or perhaps controlled anarchy. I write without an outline, having in mind only a beginning, ending, and theme when I start to write. In the first draft I let the characters indulge themselves and take over the writing for me (and I’m sure my fellow writers can relate to this), but then I go back and rein them in, making sure everything is consistent, from plot to setting to the actual prose itself, and every little detail in between. In other words, once my characters have had their fun, I put their lives into literary order. And I’m an obsessive reviser. Nothing is ever, ever, ever, good enough. (Ask Deb—she was very patient with me even as I made changes even after ATTMP accepted Hammon Falls.)

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

The time it took—over a year, plus another year and a half of revising. But, unlike my short stories, where writer’s block is too frequently an unwelcome visitor, I never once bogged down with Hammon Falls.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Everything, especially working with Roger and learning his family history. I also came to know and like (most of) the characters, as if they were real people. Roger’s creation Aubrey is the kind of person I would love to know in real life, and my own character Lewis is quite appealing, too.

Are there vocabulary words or concepts in your book that may be new to readers? Define some of those.

Not really. Hammon Falls has a somewhat unusual structure, in that it doesn’t unfold in a linear, chronological way, but so far no one has had any trouble following it.

Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? If so, discuss them.

One of the characters in the book is a middle-aged African American gentleman in 1912 Iowa (the character Lewis, mentioned two answers ago). He’s a secondary character, but he steals the show whenever he’s “on stage.”

Are there misconceptions that people have about your book? If so, explain.

That it’s self-published. Man, I hate that! I don’t begrudge any writer who wants to go that route, but I will not pay to publish my work. Not ever.

What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject/genre, that isn't so?

Well, not subject or genre so much as setting. Go to either coast and say the word “Iowa.” Note what kind of amusing (read that: infuriating) stereotypes they give you.

What is the most important thing that people DON'T know about your subject/genre, that they need to know?

My job is to tell a story. People can think/believe/know anything they want. I’m more interested in moving them emotionally than intellectually. In other words, I don’t want to try to make them know anything. I want make them feel. There are no difficult concepts in Hammon Falls, but if we teach readers anything, we hope it’s knowledge gained through an accumulation of small emotional scenes.

What inspires you?

I never know until it happens, but anything is fair game. I’ve even written two short stories solely around short Latin phrases I thought were cool. BTW, one of these, “By This Sign”—original title “Ad Te Omnis Caro Veniet” (unto thee all flesh shall come)—will be published in the upcoming ATTM anthology. The other, “Ne Cadant In Obscurum” (lest they fall into darkness) will be out anytime now in the British anthology PostScripts 22/23: The Company He Keeps.

How did you get to be where you are in your life today?

Serendipity and survival.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?

Oddly enough, it was two authors I can barely stand to read anymore. Like most young writers, I tried to emulate the big name authors. Hence, in my fantasy phase, one might have noticed a (badly done) Tolkienesque flavor to my writing, especially the dialogue. I also liked Vonnegut’s “bounce around” style in novels like Cat’s Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five. As I matured, I tried to move away from stylistic imitation to perceptual imitation. Now, if I could just once, in some tiny way, capture just a fraction of Shakespeare’s insights into human nature, I would be ecstatic. So, after all these centuries, it’s back to the master for me. I haven’t come close yet (who has?), but it’s a worthy goal, eh? (Of course, I wouldn’t mind having J.K. Rowling’s bank account, either!)

What did you find most useful in learning to write?

Writing workshops.

What was least useful or most destructive?

Writing workshops.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?

Both. I write fiction part-time, but my real-life job involves writing training manuals and policies, etc. (And for this fiction writer, that’s like dying and going to hell!)

What are some day jobs that you have held? If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.

I’ve been a clerk in both grocery and convenience stores, a security guard—from which I got exactly one short story—and, several times, a fiction editor for various small magazines. Throughout it all, I’ve worked in the University of Northern Iowa Library, where my title is Library Associate. (And no, I’m not a librarian. Contrary to popular perception, not everyone who works in a library is a librarian. In fact, in academic libraries like mine, it’s fair to say that most are not.)

For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?

The old-school guy inside me would say, naturally, the library. But the Internet works, as long as the sources are reputable. There are also the county hall of records, museums, diaries and, perhaps best of all, conversations with older people who lived during that era. Those memories are priceless, and deserve to be preserved!

How do you feel about ebooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?

Ebooks are the way or the future, but as an antiquarian book collector, I will never lose my love of the printed book. Conventional publishing is great, but difficult to achieve. POD has proved to be a very pleasant surprise to me.

What do you think is the future of reading/writing?

Same as it’s always been, only in different venues.

What process did you go through to get your book published?

We spent better than a year looking for an agent, without luck. Happily, I came upon ATTMP, and it has been a wonderful experience.

What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

Read it, and find out. ;)

How do you find or make time to write?

As the Nike ad says, Just do it. Lose the excuses for not writing, and write.

Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.

Both. As I explained before, intuition first, then logic. I start with a premise, know the ending, give the characters a lot of latitude in the middle, then revise, revise, revise! Did I mention revise? Free-wheeling is great and gives the piece a spontaneous, unexpected feel, but that’s not enough. If you have any hope of making it stand out, then revising is essential. If you do it right, you can make it controlled and spontaneous.

What are some ways in which you promote your work? Do you find that these add to or detract from your writing time?

This is a learning process, and I’m still on the low end of the curve. We’ve used newspaper articles, radio interviews, our website, and social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc., to market. But we’re still learning the ropes. Hopefully we’ll get better at this. As for adding or detracting to my writing, honestly, marketing is a pain in the ass. But it has to be done—and if it has to be done, then it might as well be done right.

What is your role in the writing community?

I write. I submit my work. I sometimes edit. I offer critiques if asked for.

What do you like to read in your free time?

I’m interested in virtually everything except internal combustion engines, so I read about virtually everything except internal combustion engines.

What projects are you working on at the present?

Well, I just finished editing a book for Deb & Phil, and I’m about to begin an oral history project with a professor at the university where we both work. That will be fun.

What do your plans for future projects include?

I desperately want to write another novel, but I haven’t found the right subject yet. Perhaps a mystery set in early nineteenth-century America (because that is my weakest area of history, and a novel would force me to research it).

And my favorite for dealing with popular authors who've already done a lot of interviews: What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.

Question: Where can I buy your book?

Answer: ATTMP website,,,,, and probably others. It’s out there. Avoid the rush and get your copy now.

Friday, August 13, 2010


I asked four book marketing gurus, all of which have catapulted books to the #1 spot on, to write formula that summarizes their secrets. The experts are Kathleen Gage, Nikki Leigh, Penney Sansevieri, and Carolyn Howard-Johnson.

I specifically asked the experts not to write any detailed explanations. The reason for this is that any explanation would be a book length response. In fact all the experts have written extensively on the subject in books, newsletter, blogs and articles.  I was really looking for a simple, bottom line equation that would summarize their basic approach to book marketing success—something that could even be put on a vision board, taped to the computer and stuck on the fridge.

The notion that if an author publishes their book readers will flock to buy it is a myth.  All marketing experts agree that the real work only just begins before the ink is dry and, actually, should begin well in advance of publication.  According to Bowker, U.S. book production alone is around 300,000 titles/ year or close to 6,000/week, (Worldwide the number is around 1 million titles). For some 90% of all titles, the average number of books sold each year, by title, is less than 100.  Clearly, if an author wants to have any kind of sales at all, something more is required than just having the title on Amazon.

Assuming you have a well written book and that there is truly an audience, or niche, for your title, how do you rise from the murky depths of that 90% well?  When you look at the following formulas, I think you will see that simple is best. By simple I do not mean little work, I mean that the way to book sale success is not complex, but it does require vision, determination and constant work. Here is what KATHLEEN GAGE has for her formula:
Desire + vision = success
Opt in list + online marketing = book sales
Bonus offers + opt in box = Subscribers and buyers
Passion + excellence = success
As both a writer and promoter of the conscious use of the Law of Attraction, Kathleen’s use of words like desire, vision and passion are near and dear to my heart. If an author is not passionate about their work, either fiction or non-fiction, chances are they will just end up with a book that sits in the dusty “no sales rank” category on Amazon. What does she mean by ‘opt in list’ and ‘bonus offers?’ My suggestion is to look at the contact information and ask her!
Kathleen Gage works with spiritually aware speakers, authors, coaches and consultants who are ready to turn their knowledge into money making products and services.
 P.O. Box 551, Pleasant Hill, OR 97455 (1.541.654.0426)

NIKKI LEIGH’s approach is a bit different. She says, “Authors and Any Other Business People — Yes, authors are business people. They created a product and offer it for sale - that's a business.  There are many authors who, and rightfully so, see themselves as artists and not businesspeople.  To some, the mechanics of selling a book is to be left to the business agent.  Okay, that may be fine if you are a proven NYTimes bestselling author, but I do not think that the vast majority of authors travel in those circles.  So, if you want more than just seeing your book in print, an author must become a businessperson if they want sales.  Nikki says, “I like to focus on the online opportunities for authors and businesses, so a formula I recommend includes:

Start by offering a high quality product + effective and consistent blogging + utilizing the internet to build your brand and credibility + consistent and targeted social media and Web 2.0 interaction + reaching out to the right target market = Getting your quality product or service in front of the people who need and want what you are selling

I love the product side of the equation because it hits at the heart of the matter and is something that we at All Things That Matter Press stress: get your book in front of those who need or want what you are selling.  I am constantly amazed at how many authors do not even begin to put together a web site or blog until after their book is published.  Most marketers tell authors that if you can start pushing even a year ahead of publication that is not too soon. In fact, it takes at least a year for anyone to know that you exist.  Building a credible presence on the internet is not an overnight process, especially since every week that goes by, 6,000 new authors add their pages to the search engines.  Further, some authors might think that these types of efforts only apply to non-fiction. Well that is fiction! Any novel worth reading has some kind of message and there are those who need and want what you have to say.  If you do not believe that, then why write at all?
To see more about Nikki and her approach to marketing, visit the following:
Book Promo 201: Harness the Power of the Internet with Web 2.0 and Social Media Marketing
Follow Me on Twitter -
Promotional Services -
WE Magazine - 101 Women Bloggers to Watch for 2009

PENNY SANSEVIERI offers several additional elements to the success formula. She says, “So, in my view there are a few things. First off, it's consistency. Whatever you do, be consistent in your communication. So often authors get weary of their campaigns or impatient for results so they change messages, focus, whatever - before the other direction has a chance to launch or get lift off. I predict that in an age of media coming at us from every direction, consistency of message will be what sets us apart. Then, it's persistent - so whatever you do, keep doing it. It's the long runway of promotion. Often it can take a while to get lift off.

Finally, authors need to know how to harness inbound marketing. It's not about being on Facebook, Squidoo, Twitter or YouTube and keeping folks there, it's about bringing them back to the author's website. Then, on the website—author's need to spend some money on this. Don't design your own site or cut your own hair :) two must-never-dos for sure. For example, we just had our site redesigned - in 24 hours it quadrupled in conversion rate, meaning that folks who land on the site are doing something: signing up for the newsletter, requesting a consult. Frankly, since the site has been launched it's been like drinking from a fire hose. All sites should be like this. The site must work for you otherwise all the work you do is a bit wasted.

So what is Penny’s formula?
consistency of message + persistency of the author + understanding and managing your inbound marketing campaign + a website that works for you = success
Penny C. Sansevieri, Adjunct Instructor NYU
Author Marketing Experts, Inc.,
Office: 858/560-0121 Hotline: 619/808-BOOK
Listen to
the Publishing Insiders on BlogTalkRadio

In a way, Carolyn Howard-Johnson sums much of this discussion very nicely. Her formula is:

marketing = marketing = marketing > learn from other industries

She adds, “I like it because I think authors often think, Oh, that's for big business, not me.”  The scenario goes something like this:
You have a desire and vision that must be marketed
You have a quality book and brand that must be marketed
You have a consistent message that must be marketed

Marketing is not a dirty word! There is probably very little in your life that is not there due to marketing.  Let’s face it; even your spouse or life partner is there because you marketed yourself as being someone worth spending time with.  Carolyn also points out that authors should learn from the success of others.  Why are some authors’ campaigns very successful and others not?  Why does one product catch the consumers’ attention and the other fades to oblivion?  Authors can learn from those who successfully sell their books and adapt those techniques to their own efforts. You can also borrow from the success of any product.  Perhaps the right logo, a good sound bite, phrase, or proper niche effort is what makes a product a success.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Instructor for the renowned UCLA Extension Writers' Program  
Web site:
Award-winning author of the HowToDoItFrugally Series of Books for writers, including USA Book News' award winners
The Frugal Editor
The Frugal Book Promoter
Blogs for Writers: , ,

Does all of this imply that only authors with big budgets can have a high sales ranks and numbers?  Not at all.  In fact, so much can be done for nothing, or with minimal expense, in this day of instant information access.  You just have to know how to do it and hopefully, the above formulas will set your marketing efforts in the right direction.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


SICK AND TIRED OF THOSE ANNOYING PHONE CALLS? Ever want to get back at those marketers that seem to know when you're eating dinner or in the middle of a great show? See what Steve Ostrow has to say-you just might be able to turn the tables!

Telemarketers have been a pain in the general public’s behind for decades. Thanks to their interrupting us day and night, the telephone has been transformed from a convenience, into a source of annoyance and frustration.
How To Sue A Telemarketer: A Manual For Restoring Peace On Earth One Phone Call At A Time is a tongue-in-cheek manual that shows the average citizen how they can fight back against a telemarketer by taking them to small-claims court. Half humorous and half how-to, the book combines comedy with savvy information about the legal system and step-by-step instructions on how consumers can take telemarketers to task.
About the Author: STEVE OSTROW
Born in New York City, Steve Ostrow did his undergraduate studies at The State University of New York, Buffalo. After backpacking throughout Europe for a year, he landed in Southern California where he graduated with honors from The Pepperdine University School of Law.
Since then, the courtroom has proven a natural setting for Steve’s East Coast wise-guy style. For the past 30 years, he has worked as a business and real estate attorney, combining his comic wit with a non-traditional law practice that helps clients assess both the emotional costs of legal matters and the financial and business implications.
A former trial lawyer, Ostrow has served as a small claims judge in Los Angeles and San Diego Counties, received his license as a real estate broker, worked as a real estate investor and facilitated over 200 clients (both lenders and borrowers) through the foreclosure process, advising them on all aspects of the procedure.
“My job is to help clients understand their choices,” says Ostrow. “What I do that other lawyers don’t is point out the bigger picture, which involves certain emotions. People often have such a sense of failure around foreclosure, but I assist clients in seeing that the outcome matters less than how they go through the process. Ultimately they need to do what will serve their life the best, while avoiding a war with lenders and unforeseen legal battles.”
In addition to his work as an attorney, Steve has served on the board of the Solana Beach Chamber of Commerce, Toastmasters, Canine Companions for Independence, and Eveoke Dance Theater. He has even worked as a celebrity impersonator based on the television character Kramer, played by actor Michael Richards on the famed Seinfeld television show.
A graduate from the Rick Stevens School of Improvisation in San Diego, and an award- winning Toastmaster, Steve has achieved success in the celebrity look-alike and improvisational worlds. In his first year of improvisational comedy, International Celebrity Images presented him with the prestigious Reel Award for Big Mouth Comedy for his Kramer impersonations. He has performed at conventions across the globe and made appearances on the Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
In his capacity as both a lawyer and a celebrity impersonator, Steve has been interviewed by The San Diego Union, The San Diego Weekly Reader, Duke Magazine in Australia, the Long Beach Telegram, and Las Vegas Magazine.
Never one to quit while he was ahead, Steve’s latest adventure is as the author of the new book How To Sue A Telemarketer: A Manual For Restoring Peace On Earth One Phone Call At A Time.
“I wrote this book for all the good, kind and ordinary people of the world who simply want to have a quiet dinner, or a beer and watch a basketball game, without getting interrupted by someone who doesn’t give a damn about them,” says Ostrow.
To date, Steve has successfully sued, or settled won and collected over 10 judgments against telemarketers.
Today, Steve works out of his law office in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, where he manages to blend a lifestyle of being both a comic and a top-notch lawyer — all while living the California dream, in his fashionable collection of aloha wear.
For more information:


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Why Bother Writing

Why Bother Writing by Kenneth Weene (author of Widow’s Walk and Memoirs From the Asylum)

Why bother? Isn’t it easier to not write, not get frustrated with all those rejection letters, the people who think you should have changed this character or that outcome? Then there’s the P.R., the endless battle to get your book noticed.
You can obsess about your standing on Amazon, not realizing that just one order may swing your title fifty places on that list. You can contact blogger after blogger: “Please give my book some space.” Wait – I can get a pod-cast. How many listeners? Who knows.
Finally, the big moment – the royalty check for the quarter arrives. Trepidatiously you open it. There it is, barely enough to take your sweetheart out for burgers and fries or maybe hotdogs and chips. You remind yourself that getting rich was never the reason. Of course, deep in your heart you’re damning the gods because you haven’t received a film offer, one you so richly deserve and that would actually put some money in your pocket.
So, I ask again, why bother? Why write? Maybe you should give up. You could find a different obsession, something that would also take up hours of your time. You could learn to play a musical instrument. You could work on your yoga. You could …
Forget it. You have to get back to that new short story, the one about the narrators ex-wife’s second ex-husband’s affair with the girl who turned out to be an agent of the Mossad who is following a Hamas-linked Imam, who it turns out …
Well, maybe you’ll put that plot on hold and find something a bit more believable.
Computer time.
First you do your email. There might be an opportunity to do some more marketing of the book you already have out. Maybe there’ll be an acceptance for those poems you sent out. Maybe, maybe, maybe.
Lots of spam. Your nephew wonders how your writing is going. A couple of Facebook friends have posted to your wall. You work through the emails. It’s easier than actually coming up with something, so you even send out a couple of hellos. Then back to Facebook, right? An hour passes reading posts, making comments, watching Youtube clips that have been shared.
More mail has come in. Check it out. Repeat.
Wasted morning. Why do I bother? goes through your mind like a neon sign.
You imagine a kid, a teenager, gawking up at that neon sign. He’s in a big city, obviously new there. Hasn’t got a clue.
Why’s he there? A runaway? No, too trite. Long pause – long enough so the computer screen has gone dark. That doesn’t matter, you’re staring out the window and all you can see is that scene in your imagination.
Suddenly it hits you. This kid, this cornpone, country kid has come to the big city because he’s going to the conservatory. Yeah, he’s a musician, not just a musician, but a gifted … a gifted what, flutist? (Nah, too feminine for a story.) guitarist? (trite) pianist (That would do, but do I know enough about piano? Piano player stories have to be technically correct.) Trumpet, no, no, saxophone.  That’s it he’s a gifted sax player come to the conservatory. He’s got a girl back home, one he really loves, or at least he thinks he does. And, he’s missing her right now. He’s staring at that sign and feeling overwhelmed, confused, lost. He wishes she were here with him.
What’s he looking at? A phone ad. Yeah, he’s missing her and thinking about that phone ad.
Is he already accepted at the conservatory? No. He’s here for the audition. Got his sax right in his hand. So he can screw it up if he …
Yeah, that’s the conflict. How to heighten …? Somebody playing on the street. The downside, right in front of him. Make it a trumpet player.
That’s it, the beginning.
You hit a key. The computer screen comes back. Get out of email. Word. Blank document. Set margins. Set spacing. A moment. Do you want courier or times new roman? Then it begins. You begin. Words start to jet from your fingers onto the screen. You are no longer confused, no longer unsure. You are writing. You are a writer. It is what you do. That is the why, the only one that matters. You bother because it is you.

Kenneth Weene’s second novel, Memoirs From the Asylum (Published by All Things That Matter Press)is now available on Amazon.

His first novel, Widow’s Walk (also from ATTMP) is also available on Amazon

Ken’s short stories and poetry can be found throughout the web and in print. His website



Authored by Rich Myers

Abortion, politics, and religion come head-to-head! The Accident is a gripping novel presenting current controversial political and moral conflicts.
The husband of a woman who loses her unborn child wants the politician responsible for her loss to pay the full price; jail time.
An activist lawyer vies for higher office and commits all of his family's savings into the campaign. Does he best represent his constituents' agenda or his own self-importance? He is the hands-down favorite and is supported by a national organization. When what has become an all too common moral character flaw surfaces, should it prevent him from fulfilling this goal? Will this case ensure his success?
A Catholic Bishop is challenged by the hierarchy to withdraw his support of the accused on moral grounds, what choice does he have?
When the laws of society and moral precepts of religious teachings collide in a court room, only one can prevail. Which will a jury decide?
Which will you decide?

"The Accident truly rivals the great Grisham books for action packed pages and a real life story that will touch all of your emotions. It will make you think about the Life issues facing society and truly challenge you and your convictions."
Armand Brunelle III

About the author:
A Boston native for more than 40 years and now a resident of Colorado, Rich has a love for the written word, the Boston Red Sox, and fall in New England.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010


August 3, 2010 NY Times

Biggest U.S. Book Chain Up for Sale

By JULIE BOSMAN In what might be the latest sign of trouble for brick-and-mortar bookstores, the mega-chain Barnes &Noble announced on Tuesday that its board was putting the company up for sale.

The news surprised analysts and alarmed publishers, who have watched as the book business has increasingly shifted to online retailers and e-book sales, leaving both chains and independent sellers struggling.

Barnes &Noble, the country’s largest book chain with 720 stores, said that its board believed the stock was “significantly undervalued” and that it had set up a special committee to review its options.

“Barnes &Noble has an iconic brand and unique competitive advantages we believe will position the company to succeed over time in a rapidly changing market,” the board said in a statement. “The board is confident in Barnes &Noble’s strategy and fully supportive of the senior management team, which is delivering explosive growth in our fast-developing digital business.”

The board has enlisted Lazard as its financial adviser and Morris, Nichols, Arsht &Tunnell as its legal adviser.

One possible bidder could be Leonard Riggio, the company’s founder, working with private equity, according to a person briefed on the matter. Mr. Riggio, 69, is the largest stockholder in Barnes &Noble, owning nearly 30 percent of the company.

“Regardless of whether I participate in an investment group that buys the company, I, as well as the entire senior management team, am willing and eager to remain with the company and see it through the challenging years ahead,” Mr. Riggio said in a statement.

Mr. Riggio has been under pressure recently from the billionaire investor Ronald W. Burkle, who last year increased his ownership stake in the company to about 18 percent. Mr. Burkle has argued for changes in Barnes &Noble’s corporate governance and has said that his Yucaipa Companies should be allowed to buy up to 30 percent of Barnes &Noble stock, though Mr. Burkle testified in court last month that he did not want to buy the company.

For years, Barnes &Noble has been battered by large shifts in the publishing industry and the retail environment. Book sales have moved toward big-box stores like Costco, Wal-Mart and Target, and away from mall-based stores like B. Dalton, which Barnes &Noble acquired in the late 1980s.

“There’s been a long series of pressures,” said David Schick, managing director at Stifel Nicolaus in Baltimore. “The market has not been kind to bookstores, and it’s for new reasons like competition with Apple and Amazon, and it’s for old reasons, like what we believe has been a decline in reading for the last 20 years. Americans have devoted less of what we call media time to books.”

But Barnes &Noble has made efforts to adapt to the changing landscape. Last year, it announced that it had acquired Fictionwise, an online e-book retailer. In March, the company promoted William Lynch, then the head of its Web division, to chief executive, signaling that it was pouring its efforts into the growing digital side of the business.

It has tried to compete with Amazon and Apple in the e-reader market by opening its own e-bookstore last summer, and by introducing its own device, the Nook, with versions selling for $149 and $199, as an alternative to the Amazon Kindle and the Apple iPad. In September, it will open 1,000-square-foot boutiques within its stores to promote the Nook.

One analyst said that consumers had been moving away from physical bookstores in favor of buying books online or at other retail outlets. “They might pick up a book when they’re buying hand sanitizer or Band-Aids, rather than actually seeking out a bookstore as a destination and then buying a book at that point,” said Michael Norris, senior analyst at Simba Information, which provides research and advice to publishers. “A lot of independents are figuring it out one bookstore at a time, and that’s what the Barnes &Nobles of the world have to do.”

Michael J. de la Merced contributed reporting.

COMMENT: At ATTMPress, we have stressed that the future of books in on-line sales. And, while we hate to see any outlet for literature in trouble, the handwriting is on the wall.